In the opening scenes of the 1981 film Mommie Dearest, Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford goes through her morning routine. You see her plunging her face into a bowl of ice water and steaming herself in a hot shower. I thought of this scene yesterday as I was preparing green beans to freeze. With the blanching and the ice bath it felt like I was Joan Crawfording the beans!
1. Clean your beans. Wash the beans thoroughly to remove dirt and creepy crawlies. If you’re working with beans that vary in size, break the larger beans into smaller pieces. Beans that are in uniform in size will cook more evenly.
2. Blanch your beans. While you’re cleaning your beans, get a big pot of water boiling on the stove top. Drop a batch of clean green beans into the boiling water and let them cook for one to two minutes.
3. Ice your beans. Fill a sink with cold water and ice cubes. Transfer the blanched green beans to the ice bath for a couple of minutes. This will stop the cooking process and allow the beans to cool.
4. Dry your beans. Transfer the beans from the ice bath to a towel. Dry the beans as much as you possibly can. You can also use a lettuce spinner to dry the beans.
5. Stow your beans. Place the green beans into freezer bags.
6. Suck your beans. Or, rather, suck the air out of the freezer bags. You can do this with a straw or, as I’m doing in the photo above, by simply placing your lips on the bag and sucking out the air.
Now, place your bags of fresh green beans in the freezer and wait until that blustery winter day when you need a little taste of summer. Enjoy!
Images: This American House